Document analysis is one of the main applications of machine vision today and offers great opportunities for neural net circuits. Despite more and more data processing with computers, the number of paper documents is still increasing rapidly. A fast translation of data from paper into electronic format is needed almost everywhere, and when done manually, this is a time consuming process. Markets range from small scanners for personal use to high-volume document analysis systems, such as address readers for the postal service or check processing systems for banks. A major concern with present systems is the accuracy of the automatic interpretation. Today's algorithms fail miserably when noise is present, when print quality is poor, or when the layout is complex. A common approach to circumvent these problems is to restrict the variations of the documents handled by a system. In our laboratory, we had the best luck with circuits implementing basic functions, such as convolutions, that can be used in many different algorithms. To illustrate the flexibility of this approach, three applications of the NET32K circuit are described in this short viewgraph presentation: locating address blocks, cleaning document images by removing noise, and locating areas of interest in personal checks to improve image compression. Several of the ideas realized in this circuit that were inspired by neural nets, such as analog computation with a low resolution, resulted in a chip that is well suited for real-world document analysis applications and that compares favorably with alternative, 'conventional' circuits.